Department of Energy

Think and Work Like A Computer Scientist With the U.S. Department of Energy

December 7, 2017

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Understanding extreme scale data. Accelerating scientific discovery. Gaining a deeper understanding of matter, energy, space, and time. Maintaining the United States’ competitiveness in the world economy.

These are just some of the benefits from applying computer science skills at the U.S. Department of Energy, as our National Laboratories and Headquarters facilities advance energy solutions and research through transformative science and technology. As the nation celebrates Computer Science Education Week December 4 – 10, we’re shining a spotlight on some of our computer science programs for students K through career.


Want to pick up computer science savvy in the classroom, as a student or teacher? Check out these Department of Energy resources today.
Computing Day at PNNL – this Thursday, nearly 100 students from the K-12 MESA Program at Chiawana High School in Pasco, Washington, are heading to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to explore the role of computing in disaster notification, response, and recovery. The Lab also hosts Summer Computer Science Workshops to connect educators to computer science, and summer camps for students in topics such as cybersecurity and app design.

In Girls Code @ Argonne, rising 7th and 8th grade participants in this inspiring workshop at Argonne National Laboratory discover what it takes to have a computer science career by building robots and working on technical fixes. Along the way, participants connect with other girls and solve fun challenges as a team. You’ll also meet inspiring female Argonne scientists.

The Supercomputing Series, a new video series by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, gets students behind the scenes of the world of supercomputing. What is a supercomputer? Watch their video series to get a quick and easy-to-digest answer.

Cyber Technologies Academy at Sandia National Laboratory offers an entry-level program for high school students intrigued by computer science and cybersecurity. Offering fun, interactive lessons and exercises, the Cyber Technologies Academy can be your first step toward becoming part of the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

The Idaho National Laboratory’s Team STEMazing Hour of Code Project celebrates National Computer Science Week by sending 18 computer scientists from the National Laboratory to talk with over 800 K-12 students at 10 area schools and community-based organizations about computer science. Students are exploring concepts in computer science, learning about careers in the field, and completing Caesar cipher decoding and Hour of Code activities.

The Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory hosts a diverse group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students each summer to train the next generation of computational and computer scientists. The Computational Science Initiative fosters cross-disciplinary collaborations to address the future of scientific challenges posed by facilities such as the new National Synchrotron Light Source II.

The Cyber Defense Competition at Argonne National Laboratory runs annually to highlight the advantages of a career in cyber security for students and to let them test their skills in real-world scenarios.

The Women @ Energy series has nearly 400 profiles of inspirational women in STEM at the Department of Energy, to share their STEM journeys and tips for students on following their career pathways. To view profiles of women in computer science, use our search page and click on “technology”.


Ready to take your first step into a computer science career on behalf of the United States Department of Energy? Join our National Laboratories for enlightening internship experiences. Read on for options across the nation.

The Givens Summer Associate Program at Argonne National Laboratory offers positions intended to encourage graduate students beginning careers in numerical analysis or computational mathematics to explore computer science careers at Argonne. This program is run by the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) Division.

The Parallel Computing Summer Research Internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory is an intense 10 week program aimed at providing students with a providing students with a solid foundation in modern high performance computing (HPC) topics integrated with research on real problems encountered in large-scale scientific codes.

The Computer System Cluster and Networking Summer Institute at Los Alamos National Laboratory is a focused technical enrichment program for students currently engaged in computer science, computer engineering, or similar major. The primary objective of the CSCNSI is to provide a thorough introduction to the techniques and practices of cluster computing.

The Research Summer Program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is for students majoring in computational science, computer science, mathematics and related science and engineering fields. Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences hosts a 12-week research summer program that provides students with the opportunity to gain research experience. Participants will work on projects in computational research, high performance computing, high speed networking or a collaboration of each, under the guidance of one or more staff members.

The Oak Ridge Science Semester at Oak Ridge National Laboratory enables students to join ongoing investigations in research areas as diverse as astrophysics, cell biology, DNA sequencing, genetic mutagenesis, parallel computing, robotics, toxicology, and much more. In their research, participants in the Oak Ridge Science Semester use the sophisticated resources available at the Laboratory, including supercomputers, state-of-the-art electron microscopes, lasers, and analytical instruments such as a Fourier transform mass spectrometer and a scanning tunneling microscope.

In the Advanced Simulation & Computing Program through the National Nuclear Security Administration, participants from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and university researchers nation-wide contribute to meeting the science-based stockpile stewardship program goals with cutting-edge physics and engineering skills.

Through the new Computer Science Division at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, SLAC and Stanford have joined forces to research the solutions to the challenges of exascale computing, with Stanford graduate and postdoc students joining research teams to address complex scientific problems.

The Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration’s Computational Science Graduate Fellowship accepts doctoral students engaged in application-focused computational science research and computer science research, enabling the use of high-performance computing systems at the Department of Energy without a specific application. This is run in partnership with the Krell Institute.

Continue learning about the Energy Department’s STEM Rising resources at and visit to participate in Computer Science Education Week activities.